Friday, June 8, 2012

Boxing needs to answer the bell earlier

Antonio Tarver fought Lateef Kayoda on Saturday.

We used our big-fight approach that night: Hope to get a few paragraphs in the print edition, and post a full story on our website when it becomes available.

I checked Twitter at 12:30 a.m., and the fight was just starting. That's late even by boxing standards.

Most big fights start in the 11:30 p.m. range, always on a Saturday.

I don't understand the thinking. Who starts anything -- a sporting event, concert or TV show, as examples -- that late on a Saturday night and expects to draw a big audience? Most professional sports leagues avoid Saturday night as much as they can. Ironically, we have a Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat in the NBA this Saturday, but that's only because of the compressed schedule with the lockout.

Otherwise, that game would be on a Sunday, which I wish boxing would try for a big bout.

Tarver, 43, might not be the best example anymore. Moving his match might not have made a difference in pay-per-view buys.

But for fighters who do move the needle, how about trying a Sunday night at say, 9 or 9:30 p.m.? That's still evening on the West Coast.

Boxing has so few stars left that only a couple could create enough stir to make it work. Manny Pacquiao is one of them. He has a fight on Saturday night. The undercard it scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Lets hope they can get to the main event before Saturday turns into Sunday.

- Howard Primer


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